On Air Now

Your Harrogate Radio

10:00pm - 8:00am

Now Playing

Atomic Kitten

Whole Again

Otley Road cycle path delayed due to weather conditions

Cyclists will have to wait another month to use Harrogate’s Otley Road cycle path due to delays caused by severe weather.

Cyclists will have to wait another month to finally use Harrogate’s long-delayed Otley Road cycle path as weather-hit construction works are paused over the festive period. The first phase of the cycle path between Harlow Moor Road and Arthur’s Avenue was due to open last month but has been pushed back several times with North Yorkshire County Council today announcing a revised completion date of 14 January. The council said the delays were due to “recent severe weather,” although it added new footpaths and a carriageway would open after this Friday. Kevin Douglas, chairman of Harrogate District Cycle Action, said it was now another case of “wait and see” for the project which was first announced four years ago. He said:

“Having won funding in 2017 and a small phase of the cycle path now opening in 2021, it is clear the council hasn’t really rushed at it. “And this is the problem with doing it in phases. The bits that are complete are only bits. “We will wait and see what this first phase looks like on the ground.”
The opening of the first phase will only mark a small step in the project which is designed to connect Harrogate town centre with Cardale Park. Planned over three phases, the cycle path is also part of a wider package of sustainable transport measures for the west of Harrogate which will cost £4.6m once completed. The previous delays in getting to this stage have involved utility works and drawn-out discussions with the landowners of the Stray – the Duchy of Lancaster – over the use of grass verges protected by law. There are also ongoing talks with housebuilders which have promised to contribute cash for the final phase. And because of this, the council has said it is unable to say when the project could be completed in full. Councillor Don Mackenzie, executive member for access at North Yorkshire County Council, said works on the second phase would begin in the New Year and that he was confident there “won’t be any shortage of developer funding” for the final phase. He added:
“There are always challenges with projects like this and because it has been a long time coming I will be very pleased to see this first phase completed. “We have had several hurdles to overcome, not least the Stray Act. “Otley Road is also a busy and narrow road which is close to schools and businesses. “It is never straightforward to construct in areas like this, especially when the road is kept open to traffic as we have done.”
By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.

More from Local News